When travelling, I find it interesting to see the different methods which cities and towns use to promote composting. Some have dedicated composting programs throughout the entire county, establishing dedicated compost collection systems, stationing compost bins right next to trash and recycling bins in common communal spaces, and etc. Others do not put composting to as high of a community responsibility, and makes picking up this habit not as simple and effortless.
For my specific location in Montgomery County, MD, I've found my best course of action to begin composting from my small condo in a dense urban county. To start with the actual collection process, I simply went to home depot and bought one of their 5-gallon buckets, with a screw-on lid. The screw-on lid lets me keep the lovely compost smells contained inside the bin, and the 5-gallon bucket is a comfortable size for tucking away under the sink or someplace similar. I did not spend more than $10 for the set up which makes it very affordable for those on a tighter budget.
I should include here specifically "what do I compost?." There are many resources available on what should and should not be composted. In short, and since this is not the main focus of this blog post, I have linked an article by the EPA informing about "Composting at Home" and what should and should not be composted: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home
Once the food scraps are collected and the bucket is filled, what do you do next? This was the main barrier for me when it came to composting. I don't have a yard to make a compost pile with, and I don't know of anyone who has a pile I can give my scraps to. So research pointed me to a few options to overcome this obstacle. In general, there are some markets which accept compost, such as Whole Foods and MOM's Organic. These store will accept your compost at no charge to you as long as you are not dropping off a large amount of waste. Your typical amount grown from an average household size will not be an issue though. Another option for emptying your compost bin is to find local community compost drop-off sites. Local to myself, I found out that there is a drop-off location located conveniently nearby in Gaithersburg, MD.
Address: Public Works 800 Rabbitt Road Gaithersburg, MD 20878
One final option for emptying your compost bin is to sign up for a compost pick-up service. There are many options available for this. On the site listed below, the Montgomery County lists multiple dedicated food-scrap collectors which you can individually choose to suit your needs.
Over all, though it may not be as obvious in some locations as other for how to compost in your area, but there are still options available to those who seek it. Hopefully this will help you get started on your composting journey.